Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

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Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by fret17 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:36 am

Hi folks.....I've made the decision to switch from analog to digital recording in the hopes that I may produce a more quiet and profound product in the future, as well as hopefully clean up a number of analog recordings...I researched the Zoom R16 and found it's features to be what I may be looking for in post production....as I've no experience with hardware digital recording I plan to experiment quite a bit to get familiar with what it can do, and there's a lot to cover in the manual.....I was hoping to hear from some of you more experienced with hardware digital if it's possible to transfer analog tracks to digital tracks(one by one) so that they line up at the same starting point, track for track, in the digital recorder...is this a common feature in hareware digital recorders?...I've been so busy of late that I haven't even opened the box.... but it would be nice to know now that it can...also if anyone is using an R16..maybe some things I should know...thanks for your help!

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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by Len911 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:24 pm

Tom, there used to be a synch function, a few years ago I recall, though I doubt if anything including the zoom would have that now, but it looks like the R16 comes bundled with Cubase LE-4, which should make it easy to do all your editing. If they aren't lined up, you can just grab the waveform and drag it over, not only will you have sound but you can see the waveform. I'm sure you'll be in there trimming and cleaning up your old recordings anyway, so it's really not a big to do. On second thought, the synch function might have been for the old tascam digital tape devices.
The hardware mainly gets your signal into the computer where the software takes over from there offering much more versatility.
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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by billg1 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:20 am

You've got two options depending on what you'll be doing with your tracks. If you won't be adding any more tracks you can use the r16 as an interface and then following the directions in the manual dump them into a ( included Cubase) DAW project. Then you can clean things up, add fx, virtual instruments, mix, master, etc.

If you want to do more recording in the r16, adding tracks to what you already have . . . you could to a track line in (if it's mono). You could do this one at a time and then assign it a track number in the r16 but I think syncing would be a problem with this method. you'll have less headaches if you first put all the tracks into Cubase (method 1) make sure everything syncs up (you'll probably have to do some sliding around) and then transfer those tracks back to the r16.

Recording into the r16 should give you great sounding tracks. I've heard some people say that the mic-pres leave a lot to be desired, I don't know. Chances are that whatever you've been using in your analog set up could also be used as a pre for the Zoom & might be better.

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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by fret17 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:20 am

Thank you Len911 and billg1 for your help....I was hoping to avoid editing in a software program as my computors are dinosaures..lol...I may have to seriously consider just re-recording new versions of my old songs on the r16 fresh....who knows....maybe they'll be better since I have a lot more tracks now than just 4.....a good laptop next year and I'll be able to start working with samples and better instruments....should still be fun to work with a new machine...thanks so much!

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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by mojobone » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:31 pm

Don't discount an old machine; you can still do an awful lot, since you'll likely edit no more than two tracks at a time. You can still render out stuff your machine is unable to play back in realtime, too. You'll find the DAW's visual aids to editing very helpful, too.
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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by fret17 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:02 pm

mojobone wrote:Don't discount an old machine; you can still do an awful lot, since you'll likely edit no more than two tracks at a time. You can still render out stuff your machine is unable to play back in realtime, too. You'll find the DAW's visual aids to editing very helpful, too.
Idealy...Mojo...what I'm hoping will happen..is after sending 2 or more seperate anolog tracks into seperate tracks on the r16, I can line them up with starting points so they will be in sync with each other. then at that point, I can clean up the tracks with the many features capable in the R16...the trick is going to be if I can line them up...all without the visual aid in a computer editing ap....it's gonna all be on the fly.....ultimately, I'd like to make these old anolog recordings fatten up and spread across the sound stage.....everything is so thin and mono sounding.....at best...I'll be learning on the new machine for future productions....but you also got me thinking now... that if I create really nice digital recordings, might they sound even better using the anolog for mastering....also...I was hoping to find out what's better , pre signal or post signal when it comes to compresser/limiter/gates...before the mix or during??...I'm also going to start to incorporate them 'cause I've never used them in my recording process before but I know I've gotta start.....Thanks

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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by Mark Kaufman » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:09 pm

If I understand you correctly, you want to digitize each track of a multitrack recording and have them all sync up? If so, the only reliable way is to do it is on a machine that has a Line Out channel for each track, and record them all at the same time on separate digital tracks.

I have a couple old Tascam cassette multitracks...but even the high end one will never play at precisely the same speed each time around...there is just enough variation and/or tape stretch in the course of three minutes that by the middle of a song, everything is out of sync when you try to put them together track by track. Maddening. I'd love to remix some old tape stuff, but this problem made it impracticable.

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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by fret17 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:49 pm

Mark Kaufman wrote:If I understand you correctly, you want to digitize each track of a multitrack recording and have them all sync up? If so, the only reliable way is to do it is on a machine that has a Line Out channel for each track, and record them all at the same time on separate digital tracks.

I have a couple old Tascam cassette multitracks...but even the high end one will never play at precisely the same speed each time around...there is just enough variation and/or tape stretch in the course of three minutes that by the middle of a song, everything is out of sync when you try to put them together track by track. Maddening. I'd love to remix some old tape stuff, but this problem made it impracticable.
Hey Mark...nice to hear from ya....ya know I hadn't thought of the physics effecting the pitch/time differencial during transfer....I can see your point ....I'm laughing over here 'cause this just keeps getting better and better the more I try for a strategy...I can see myself with 2 headphones on and both hands controling the speed nobs on the fly....ridiculous!...well I guess the songs will have to stay in the sorry shape they're in for the anthology album!...
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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by mazz » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:52 pm

How many tracks are you trying to transfer?
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Re: Transferring analog to digital....tascam tape to Zoomr16

Post by fret17 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:06 pm

mazz wrote:How many tracks are you trying to transfer?
Hi Mazz .....4 seperate anolog tracks....1 at a time...from the R/L output...to digital recorder{Zoom R16)
....upon completion of four transfers....try to line them up in the digital recorder to start at the same time and be in sync throughout so that I can clean them up with the post production features in the R16...

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